This weekend is kind of a big deal for Irish sport.
As we wait in wonder ahead of the national rugby team's feverishly anticipated clash with the French in Cardiff along with the footballers' group-deciding European qualifier in Warsaw tomorrow, some of the nation's finest boxers will be seeking to emulate today's sensational success for Ireland's amateurs at the World Championships in Doha.
At 1am tonight/this morning (Irish time) on national television in the US, Gary 'Spike' O'Sullivan, Stephen 'The Rock' Ormond and Patrick 'The Punisher' Hyland all go to war in Lowell, Massachusetts - the hometown of 'The Fighter,' legendary brawler Micky Ward - with each aiming to bolster their status as world-level contenders.
Ward himself will be present to watch the Irish lads from 3,000 miles east of his native Boston suburb, as the city of Lowell prepares for a new Irish invasion.
The Irish Invasion tonight live on PBC from Lowell, the lads are in fantastic shape, great night ahead!👊🏻🍀🇮🇪🇮🇪 pic.twitter.com/XJcQxOEdcI
— Emerald Isle Boxing (@EmeraldBoxing) October 10, 2015
Earlier this week we brought you the news that Cork middleweight knockout artist O'Sullivan finally looks set to face bitter foe Chris Eubank Jr in what remains one of the most tantilising fights in Irish boxing.
The charismatic puncher has built a cult following on America's east coast since signing with new promoter Ken Casey - lead singer of the Dropkick Murphys - and will be looking to build on his Stateside record (WBA #10 O'Sullivan is 5-0 with 3KOs in America) versus replacement opponent David Toribio of the Dominican Republic.
Dublin duo Ormond and Hyland face similar, warm up-like tests to their Cork counterpart, with the former continuing his re-establishment on the world scene after signing with boxing mogul Al Haymon.
'The Rock,' who trains with O'Sullivan in the Collins brothers' Celtic Warrior Gym, will be looking to blitz American veteran Michael Clark in an attempt to get a shot at former conqueror Terry Flanagan for the WBO lightweight strap - provided the Manchester man prevails in his first defence tonight.
Following the death of his legendary father in June, super-featherweight Patrick Hyland has also vowed to rejoin the world title race against unknown American David Martinez.
The once-beaten former world title challenger boasts a record of 30-1 with 14 stoppages, and promoter Lou DiBella was more than willing to make some favourable comparisons between Hyland and an old Lowell legend midweek:
The greatest compliment I can pay to my boy @Pajpunisher is that he is cut from the same cloth as Irish Micky Ward. Hell for any 126lber.
— Lou DiBella (@loudibella) October 9, 2015
The bashful Dub has generally fought out of America since 2012, and will be looking to grasp his first genuine step towards redemption from a brave points defeat to WBA champ Javier Fortuna in December of the same year.
The Premier Boxing Champions event - which is topped by Boston-Irishman Danny 'Bhoy' O'Connor's rematch with Gabriel Brecaro - will air on NBC in the States, providing an unbelievable opportunity for Spike, The Rock and 'Pajo' to gain more traction on the far side of the Atlantic.
— Premier Boxing Champions (@premierboxing) October 10, 2015
Unfortunately the fights won't be broadcast on television over here, but, you know, combine your imagination and modern technology if you're looking for a 'First Row' seat.
Action at the Lowell Memorium Auditorium gets under way at 1am, and let's hope the fighting Irish can continue to set the tone for a monumental weekend of sport for the nation.